Chathurya Nilaweera hustled his way to his maiden Clay Court Nationals junior title when he defeated top seed Luca Knese in the Boy’s U18 Final today, 30th May at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association Courts.
Highlights: Clay Court Nationals Men’s Final
Winning the first set 6/1, Nilaweera won the match with a majority percentage of 2nd serve points under his belt, 84.6% to be exact. With 7 winners off his forehand and just 2 unforced errors off his backhand, Nilaweera left very little room for Knese to find footing.
In 2018, young Nilaweera was the recipient of 3 major runner-up awards, the SSC Championship, Colombo Championship and the Junior National Championship. Missing out on the first Clay Court tournament last year as he was off playing the Junior Davis Cup, Nilaweera has surely redeemed himself with 2 ‘Category A’ titles under his name already for the year.
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Nilaweera’s road to the final
Chathurya Nilaweera started in the bottom of the draw as the 2nd seed in a 64-man draw. With a Bye in the first round, Nilaweera made easy work of his draw to book a slot in the final against Knese.
He beat A Hemavansha in the second round, P Jayasinghe in the third and Thehan Wijemanne in the quarterfinals. Nilaweera defeated Apna Perera 6/4, 6/3 in the semifinals, rounding up a run up to the final round.
Knese’s road to the final
Seeded 1st in the draw, Luca Knese had a tougher road to the final than that of his counterpart. With a bye in the first round, he cruised through the quarterfinal with quick wins. In the quarters, Knese was put to the test by R Ratnasingham who pushed the first set to a tie breaker. However, Knese pulled through 7/6 (5), 6/2.
In the semifinal, Knese was up against Ashan Silva who took him up to 7/5 in the first set, but Knese owned the second not letting up a single game. Final scores read 7/5, 6/0 in favour of the top seed, taking him straight to the final against Chathurya Nilaweera.
Chathurya Nilaweera was Sri Lanka’s No.1 match winner at the recently concluded Junior Davis Cup pre-qualifying and final qualifying rounds. At just 14 years of age, Nilaweera has been crowned twice in ‘Category A’ tournaments for the year and has two more tournaments remaining to possibly complete a hattrick of Junior National titles.
Keep it logged onto ThePapare.com for more results, updates and photos from the Clay Court Nationals Tennis Championship 2019.